Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/217

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��rudely awakened by the War of Independence in America from this dream that the Colonies could be held for our profit alone, the second chapter was entered upon, and the public opinion seems then to have drifted to the opposite ex- treme; and, because the Colonies were no longer a source of revenue, it seems to have been be- lieved and argued by many people that their separation from us was only a matter of time, and that that separation should be desired and encouraged, lest haply they might prove an encumbrance and a source of weakness.

It was while those views were still enter- tained, while the Little Englanders were in their full career, that this Institute was founded to protest against doctrines so injurious to our interests and so derogatory to our honor; and I rejoice that what was then, as it were, "a voice crying in the wilderness" is now the expressed and determined will of the overwhelming major- ity of the British people. Partly by the efforts of this Institute and similar organizations, part- ly by the writings of such men as Fronde and Seeley, but mainly by the instinctive good sense and patriotism of the people at large, we have now reached the third stage in our history, and the true conception of our empire. What is that conception? As regards the self-governing Colonies we no longer talk of them as dependen- cies. The sense of possession has given place to the sentiment of kinship.

We think and speak of them as part of our-


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